Croydon Council is missing easy opportunities to make Croydon a more environmentally friendly and digitally enabled borough. An obvious example of this is its failure to support the ZipCar flex scheme, which allows members of the car club to find a car near to them and leave it, free of charge, in any Council car parking space. Nine London boroughs are already signed up - but Croydon is lagging behind.
Croydon’s Labour Council makes a point of trying to curb car ownership among residents, with housing developments frequently given planning permission with far fewer parking spaces than homes, and sometimes none at all. The result is the number of cars in Croydon are increasing far more than the number of parking spaces, making parking in Croydon an ever greater challenge.
The excellent public transport links in Croydon mean that, for day to day life, cars are often not required. However, occasionally, whether making journeys not on a simple public transport route, or when carrying bulky goods, a car is needed. It is for these reasons that so many people keep their own car. Car clubs such as ZipCar cover these scenarios, meaning residents can get rid of their own vehicle, and easily pick up a car nearby to use whenever required.
The issue with the use of car clubs in Croydon at present is that each car club car has a designated space, and users are charged for the amount of time the car is away from the space. That makes journeys where you want to leave the car for a period of time - for example a visit to friends or family - too expensive to use a car club. ZipCar flex means this is no longer an issue - you can leave a car in a Council owned space at your destination, then pick up another one to come home - as long as you don’t live in Croydon.
Conservative Councillor Stuart Millson is calling on Croydon Council to support ZipCar flex, and other car clubs which operate in the same way.
“Parking in Croydon is becoming ever more difficult,” he says. “Croydon Council’s policy of building far more homes than parking spaces is making matters worse. Without recognising that some car use is inevitable and planning for that, its ambition to reduce car use, while noble, is not practical.”
“ZipCar flex and equivalent schemes from other car clubs make a reduction in car ownership realistic. Croydon has a growing digital economy, and the stronger the relationship Croydon can build with established digital companies such as ZipCar the more its digital economy will benefit. Croydon Council’s failure to engage and be at the forefront of the ZipCar flex scheme is a massive missed opportunity.”